PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded nearly $48,000 to nine nonprofit organizations serving the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
The award was made through the Foundation’s Equity Action Fund, which was established in 2002, to help enact social change by championing initiatives and organizations that support these Rhode Islanders.
“Our grantees engage in efforts to ensure the health, safety and fair treatment for all [LGBT] Rhode Islanders,” said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees Equity Action at the Foundation. “Much of this important work is accomplished by strengthening alliances among organizations working to address the most critical needs of the [LGBT] community across the state.”
Equity Action is guided by a volunteer advisory committee comprised of community leaders, including Chairman Michael Grabo and Vice Chairperson Jean Burke. They considered two categories of grants, projects that meet priority needs through the empowerment of those under-represented in the community, and capacity-building grants for board development, strategic planning, and the like.
The recipients and their awards are:
Youth Pride, $10,000; to increase outreach to local gay/straight alliances, stage a statewide conference and train volunteers to present an anti-bias curriculum in local schools;
The Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center, $8,500, to improve access to quality health care for transgender patients;
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, $8,000, to work with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families and the Ocean State Network to implement safe guidance for state-involved youth;
Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), $7,500, to expand its educational capacity regarding aging, housing and healthcare issues;
Sojourner House, $3,500, to increase counseling and domestic violence services for those in relationships;
New Urban Arts, $3,000 to enable 10-15 low-income youth to explore, through writing and art, issues of identity;
Crossroads Rhode Island, $2,500, to increase the emergency shelter options to those homeless aged 18-24;
Family Service of Rhode Island, $2,500, to create a network of community-based partners in order to improve the accessibility of HIV testing; and
The Newport Film/Video Society & Arts Collaborative, $2,000, to support film screenings, a film symposium, post-screening panel discussions and a media literacy program.
This year’s deadline to apply for major grants has passed, but the Foundation is still accepting proposals for amounts under $2,500.